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Spread Spectrum Telecommunication

This is a technique in which a signal is transmitted on a bandwidth considerably larger than the frequency content of the original information.

Spread-spectrum telecommunications is a signal structuring technique that employs direct sequence,frequency hopping, or a hybrid of these, which can be used for multiple access and/or multiple functions. This technique decreases the potential interference to other receivers while achieving privacy. Spread spectrum generally makes use of a sequential noise-like signal structure to spread the normally narrowband information signal over a relatively wideband(radio) band of frequencies. The receiver correlates the received signals to retrieve the original information signal. Originally there were two motivations: either to resist enemy efforts to jam the communications (anti-jam, or AJ), or to hide the fact that communication was even taking place, sometimes called Low Probability Intercept (LPI).

Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum(FHSS),direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS),time hopping spread spectrum (THSS), chirp spread spectrum (CSS), and combinations of these techniques are forms of spread spectrum. Each of these techniques employs pseudorandom number sequences — created using pseudo random number generator — to determine and control the spreading pattern of the signal across the allocated bandwidth. Ultra wideband(UWB) is another modulation technique that accomplishes the same purpose, based on transmitting short duration pulses. Wireless Ethernet standard IEE 802.11  uses either FHSS or DSSS in its radio interface.

Techniques

Invention of frequency hopping

 

Spread-spectrum clock generation (SSCG) is used in some synchronus digital system, especially those containing microprocessors, to reduce the spectral density of theElectromagnetic Interface (EMI) that these systems generate. A synchronous digital system is one that is driven by a clock signal and, because of its periodic nature, has an unavoidably narrow frequency spectrum. In fact, a perfect clock signal would have all its energy concentrated at 0 Hz, a single frequency, and its harmonics. Practical synchronous digital systems radiate electromagnetic energy on a number of narrow bands spread on the clock frequency and its harmonics, resulting in a frequency spectrum that, at certain frequencies, can exceed the regulatory limits for electromagnetic interference .
Spread-spectrum clocking avoids this problem by using one of the methods previously described to reduce the peak radiated energy and, therefore, its electromagnetic emissions and so comply with Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulations.
It has become a popular technique to gain regulatory approval because it requires only simple equipment modification. It is even more popular in portable electronics devices because of faster clock speeds and increasing integration of high-resolution LCD displays into ever smaller devices. Since these devices are designed to be lightweight and inexpensive, traditional passive, electronic measures to reduce EMI, such as capacitors or metal shielding, are not viable. Active EMI reduction techniques such as spread-spectrum clocking are needed in these cases.
However, spread-spectrum clocking can also create challenges for designers. Principal among these is clock/data misalignment, or clock skew.
Note that this method does not reduce total radiated energy, and therefore systems are not necessarily less likely to cause interference. Spreading energy over a larger bandwidth effectively reduces electrical and magnetic readings within narrow bandwidths. Typical measuring receivers used by EMC testing laboratories divide the electromagnetic spectrum into frequency bands approximately 120 kHz wide. If the system under test were to radiate all its energy in a narrow bandwidth, it would register a large peak. Distributing this same energy into a larger bandwidth prevents systems from putting enough energy into any one narrowband to exceed the statutory limits. The usefulness of this method as a means to reduce real-life interference problems is often debated, since it is perceived that spread-spectrum clocking hides rather than resolves higher radiated energy issues by simple exploitation of loopholes in EMC legislation or certification procedures. This situation results in electronic equipment sensitive to narrow bandwidth(s) experiencing much less interference, while those with broadband sensitivity, or even operated at other frequencies (such as a radio receiver tuned to a different station), will experience more interference.
FCC certification testing is often completed with the spread-spectrum function enabled in order to reduce the measured emissions to within acceptable legal limits. However, the spread-spectrum functionality may be disabled by the user in some cases. As an example, in the area of personal computers, some BIOS writers include the ability to disable spread-spectrum clock generation as a user setting, thereby defeating the object of the EMI regulations. This might be considered a loophole, but is generally overlooked as long as spread-spectrum is enabled by default.
An ability to disable spread-spectrum clocking in computer systems is considered useful for over clocking, as spread spectrum can lower maximum clock speed achievable due to clock skew.

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